Delegating is a key driver for growth and scalability in your business. You can’t do it all! Delegation does not remove responsibility though, so you still need some level of understanding. Many executives and business owners struggle with the right “level” of understanding in technology. You don’t need to be an expert, but ABDICATION is very different from DELEGATION when it comes to technology.
Following the classic tale of Golilocks and the Three Bears, here are the three levels of technology involvement many business executives and owners find themselves in:
You “aren’t that good with technology” but have complete faith in your IT Director, who started at the company in a completely different position, but was “good with computers” at the time. This situation is no longer acceptable if you want to compete and grow into today’s marketplace. A business executive or owner needs to have a basic level of understanding of the technology and how it aligns with the overall business goals. Approving a yearly budget for hardware and software is not enough!
You are a technology expert…you once fed cards into a computer at university. Not only do you tell your IT group/partner what you want them to do, you tell them HOW to do it. This is the opposite problem found in #1. Unless you are running a technology company, and your ROLE is to manage the technology strategy, be wary of not letting those that you employ or partner with choose the solutions. Technology can certainly be fun to play with, but don’t get burned!
You have a clear understanding of how your technology is aligned with your business goals. There is a technology roadmap that is reviewed by all, at least annually, and agreed to by the leadership team. You have an outsourced technology partner that provides the “tactical” technology required, usually called an MSP. Your technology strategy is handled by either an outside partner (under 500 employees) or in-house via a Business Analyst or C-level executive (over 500 employees)
Finding the right level of technology involvement and understanding as a business executive or owner can be hard. Unless you have more than 500 employees or some complex needs (which you don’t) the best path is to find solid partners for both the tactical and strategic technology needs in your business!